It was a long night at Annual Town Meeting, but voters and officials worked together to get through the Warrant rather than continue to a third one.
The only official Article that passed as proposed in the Warrant was the Noise Bylaw in a close vote. Two Citizen Petition Articles also passed, (though one was amended first by the proponent based on a legal issue raised.)
It was an ugly night for the Select Board, which found itself in the hot seat more than once. I’ll follow with more details on that and other highlights in later posts.
For now, below is a quick recap of last night’s votes by Article. (For Wednesday’s votes, click here. For the Articles’ text in the Warrant, click here.)
25. Easements for Reorientation of St. Mark’s Street (swapping easements with St. Mark’s School for the park, rerouted street, and parking lot) – Failed after hall refused to indefinitely postpone at Select Board’s request
10: Fiscal Year 2023 Water Budget – A reconsideration to clean up the motion passed on Wednesday – Approved
26. Amend Town Code – create Noise Bylaw – Approved, 69-61
27. Amend Town Code – create Trees Protection Bylaw – Indefinitely postponed at request of Planning Board which will bring it to a Special Town Meeting in the Fall
28. Amend Town Code – designate the 68 roads accepted as public ways since mid-1978 as Scenic Roads – Indefinitely postponed by voters
29. Amend Town Code – create a standing Trails Committee – Amended then Approved (over objections of the current Ad Hoc Committee which asked to pull it after amendments were made)
31. Amend Town Code – create a standing Capital Improvement and Planning Committee – Approved
32. Citizen Petition – Prevent Use of Public Funds to Improve Private Property without TM Approval – Approved
33. Citizen Petition – Amend Town Code – Accounting of Funding for Roads – Indefinitely postponed at request of petitioner
34. Citizen Petition – Amend Town Code – create a standing Southborough PILOT Committee – Amended then Approved
35. Citizen Petition – Amend Town Code – Recall Bylaw for process to remove elected officials – Indefinitely postponed by voters
Updated (5/6/22 4:36 pm): Good news, Southborough Access Media posted videos for both nights. You can watch those here.
For those looking for me to cover more details, you’ll have to wait until Monday/Tuesday. I ran into some technical issues today. With my limited time I prioritized getting out info to help readers decide on how to vote this Tuesday. (And I’m taking off this weekend.)
Thank you for capturing the details. As an elected Planning Board member, I wanted to provide clarification regarding the Planning Board article for the Tress Protection Bylaw #27. Prior to the start of the meeting, Select Board member Ms. Malinowski approached the Planning Board member, Mr. Mills, and requested that we indefinitely postpone article #27 due to the number of warrant articles on the agenda and the anticipated discussion that would surround the bylaw. He was informed that it was a requirement by the Town to present the Citizen’s petition articles during the meeting. As we were still in session, after opening prior to the Town Meeting on May 4th, he approached each member and asked if we were willing to move to a Fall Special Town Meeting. Per Ms. Luttrell’s comment at the podium, we wanted to be collaborative and ensure that the citizen’s petitions made it on night 2 (my understanding (not necessarily fact) is the Town did not have a venue secured for a third night). So to be clear, it was always our intent to present last night, article #27, the Tree Protection Bylaw. We did not propose the indefinite postponement. Planning Board was requested by Select Board to do so and each member indicated that we were willing to do our part for the efficiency and effectiveness of our democratic process. Mr. Mills negotiated with Ms. Malinowski to be the first warrant article at the fall town meeting.
Thank you. I did intend to explain about that in my subsequent post. (Though, this is more detail than Meme Lutrell shared in her explanation.)
Beth, when will the video of town meeting be available online? Thank you for your coverage of all the issues.
The video of Wednesday night is already available.
I’m hoping Southborough Access Media will be able to get last night’s meeting posted today. But it doesn’t always go smoothly. My rough understanding is the file for the video that has to be processed is very large and can take a long time. If staff discovers there was a glitch, they sometimes have to restart the process. (And obviously they worked a late night, and today’s a Friday.) So, if there’s an issue, it might not be until Monday. You can check out all of their videos, including last week’s Candidate’s Night, here.
That’s a great explanation, Marnie. Thanks for that (and, for your coverage Beth). I observed that PB put many hours into this, so it was a bit confusing to hear the postponement, but this makes sense now.
There was a lot of anger directed toward the selectboard and the aggressive Moderator from the citizenry. One has the feeling that the voters in the auditorium knew that the town government was moving along with it’s own plan to redevelop Main street (rt 30) and (RT. 85 ) . The senior center will be moved to the Neary school land—the library will need to be torn down after we just spent 1 million dollars and we will be told we have an out dated library and we need something new and modern. St. Marks will lease the Main Street frontage we traded to build our fabulous Police and Fire station (they wanted that Golf course for development but lost out to those who preferred the pleasures construction brings to politicians, like a nice ribbon cutting ceremony) and the chance to make new friends. Yes , Mr. Healy was right when he said things will move along , they have to, too many people are depending on the benefits new roads, new sewer lines, new construction, a new look for Southborough. Forget the trees and little New England Stone walls, the elected people want multi story buildings with pottery barn and Crate and Barrel with a few boutiques thrown in. To hell with what you voters want—the template is in place .
Yes, the anger could be felt